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Whole Life Concepts Project

Noah Green

ENGR 1201-024 Professor Meg Harkins 19 October 2013 I have neither given nor received any unauthorized help on this assignment, nor witnessed any violation of the UNC Charlotte Code of Academic Integrity. 10/14/13 Noah Green

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Noah Green Professor Meg Harkins ENGR 1201-024 19 October 2013 Whole Life Concepts Project To be a successful engineering student at any university, or to be a successful engineer in the real world, one first must have passion. Without passion, nothing can be accomplished to its maximum potential, and the world would not be what it is today. Passion is the feeling of great enthusiasm towards something in life, and with engineering, it is the strong drive to create innovative ideas, processes, and objects that will create a positive impact on society. In the Whole Life Concept Model, passion is at the center, meaning there is no possible way to make an impact on society without it. To create an impact, it also takes knowledge, which one will gain by being an engineering student and becoming proficient in all the material covered in the required courses. Lastly, students will have to apply their knowledge and passion, through ethics, communication, and teamwork, to be able to make an impact on the world around them. By applying the Whole Life Concept Model to my life, I would like to make a positive impact on our environment by helping to repair and rebuild our countries poor infrastructure though a civil engineering career. Passion: The First Step to Making an Impact Passion is at the core of the Whole Life Concept Model, and I must be able to apply this passion in my career to create a positive impact in our world. Since I was a young boy, I have felt driven to be successful in all aspects of my life. My drive to be successful may be different from others because I want to complete all tasks that I encounter, to my full potential. Others may complete a portion of their tasks to their full ability, but the majority of their effort in life, will be done using a fraction of their full capabilities. When I was a young boy, my passion was first displayed when I had a strong desire to win every game, sport, or activity that I took part in. During my years in high school, I became more aware of my passion, once I had an ambition to become a successful student and cross country/track athlete. I put forth 100% of my effort throughout my four years of high school, earning straight As while becoming an accomplished distance runner at the high school level. As the years have passed, my passion and drive to be successful has changed, and I am no longer focused on winning. Since I am now a college student, I strive to be successful academically, and I am focused on earning a GPA over 3.5 in the William State Lee College of Engineering at UNC Charlotte. I am also focused on continuing my athletic career at UNC Charlotte, and becoming a successful team member of the Cross Country and Track teams. Once I graduate from UNC Charlotte, my passion can be applied to my career, so I can be successful in making a positive impact on our society Throughout my years in middle school and high school, numerous people have helped influence and develop my passion. As a distance runner during my high school years, my coaches influenced my drive to become a successful athlete. They supported me and kept me motivated, when training was tough. My coaches also assisted me by making sure that I took the first steps to become a successful college student such as teaching me effective studying strategies. Another person who influenced my passion is Mike Fischesser, who is the owner of a zip line company that I work for. After a few years of business, the company Mike owned, Beanstalk Journeys, was over $50,000 in debt. Instead of giving up on his company, Mike remained passionate about making Beanstalk Journeys a successful zip line company, and a few years later it was one of the top zip line companies in North Carolina. Mike showed me that even though times may get tough, you must stay passionate in order to become successful. An additional person that had helped develop my passion is my brother. My brother Jake was a mediocre student throughout his high school career, but that changed dramatically once he became a college student. At Ferris State University, Jake soon became an outstanding student in the Welding Engineering Department, earning a GPA over 3.75. This accomplishment showed me that even though one may have performed poorly in the past, it is possible to develop into a successful individual in the future. Besides other people who helped to influence my passion, my values and my past experiences in life have also helped to influence and develop my passion. As mentioned previously, I was both a successful student and a successful athlete throughout high school, and this is probably due to the fact that I will work harder than many others to achieve my goals. In high school, I was determined to be a successful student, and by my senior year I was selected by my teachers as the number one math and science student in the senior class. From the beginning of my athletic career, I knew that I did not have an immense amount of talent; therefore, I would have to work harder than anyone else to develop into a successful athlete. Just as my team mate, Kevin Holder, once said We do things in

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training that other people wont do, so in competitions we can do things that others cant do. During these experiences, I also learned the value of never giving up, and working hard until my desired goal is accomplished. This value has taught me that if you do not achieve success on the first attempt, that you should continue to work hard until you do produce the success that you working towards. An additional value that sets me apart from many other students, is that I do not waste my time partying, playing video games, and watching television. I have attained this value, by developing self-discipline and time management skills. Throughout my middle and high school years, I was a member of The American Adventure Service Corps (TAASC), which is a youth outdoor program. TAASC has influenced my passion greatly, since all of the activities we participated in included a goal, such as becoming a certified lead rock climber. During my experiences with TAASC, I was one of the few TAASC members to accomplish this goal successfully. TAASC has allowed me to take part in many unique experiences, while teaching me valuable lessons and traits. During an expedition to the high country of the Sierra Nevadas in California, I developed my teamwork skills, when the group had to work together to perform a rescue procedure when a member was injured. This experience like many others have influenced my passion significantly, as well as set apart from the people around me. Application of Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities In order to turn my passion into my desired career, it will require me to have specific knowledge, skills and abilities. The most fundamental knowledge that I will need to become a successful civil engineer, is the knowledge of mathematics and science, which I will gain through taking all of the required engineering courses including chemistry, physics, and calculus. Since nearly all engineering problems are solved using mathematics and science, I need to become fully proficient in all of the mathematics and science disciplines. Developing my leadership skills will also help me achieve the career that I have always dreamed of. My ability to lead others during a project, will allow the company to work more effectively, and this ability will also help me to advance up the corporate ladder. An additional skill that is necessary in the engineering world is teamwork. Since the majority of engineering projects are completed in teams, it is very important that I develop my teamwork skills. Working in teams is beneficial to the final product that an engineering team is working on, because the final product will encompasses ideas of various people instead of a single person. The culmination of knowledge and various skills/abilities will allow me to make the impact on society that I want to achieve. Achieving the desired goal in my future, does not just include developing my technical and academic knowledge, skills, and abilities; it includes improving my soft-skills such as the eagerness to help others, teamwork, and communication. To enhance my drive to help others, I plan to participate in numerous service projects throughout the year. Enhancing this drive will be beneficial in my career when problems arise in the engineering world and need a quick solution. I need to have a deep ambition to help others, so I can find a solution to the problem. Many employers look for this trait in their employees, as was the case with the Virginia Department of Transportation, since when natural disasters hit, engineers need to be able to react quickly to fix whatever may have been affected by the storm (Virginia Department of Transportation September 18, 2013). Improving my teamwork skills will also improve my ability to become a successful engineer. I will continue to improve my teamwork skills by being a part of UNC Charlottes cross country and track teams. Being a member of these teams will teach me how to work with others in order to achieve a common goal, and the importance of a team, since it is not possible to be successful without my fellow teammates. Another valuable trait in the engineering world, is the ability to communicate with others. Currently, I work for a zip line company as a tour guide where I have to effectively communicate with clients. This job will continue to allow me to improve my communication skills that I will use as an engineer, because as a tour guide I have to explain technical terms and techniques to those who have little to no knowledge in zip lining procedures. Using adequate communication with clients is another trait that employers look for, since in most cases clients for engineering projects have little understanding of engineering procedures. Improving these soft skills now, will help me earn a job, which will get me closer to making the impact that I wish for. Choosing a Engineering Major From the time I was in middle school, I have always had the desire to become an engineer, and more specifically, I have always wanted to become a civil engineer. This field of study has been interesting to me since I have always been attracted to infrastructure, and building structures. As a young teenager, I spent a large amount of my time building treehouses and skateboarding ramps, which further developed my interest in the field of engineering. Throughout my high school years, I became more interested in the field of structural engineering,

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which is a branch of civil engineering concerned with the design and analysis of large structures such as bridges and buildings. This fascination of mine was definitely elevated by visiting New York City, and examining the Freedom Tower as it was being constructed; as well as having the opportunity to see the Arthur Ravenal Jr Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina. I am also drawn to the career of civil engineering since I would enjoy the opportunity to work outside with some regularity, and this career would allow me to do so. As I plan to become a structural engineer, I realize that gaining my Professional Engineer (PE) License is necessary since most employers require their employees to have their PE due to the nature of the job. I have also decided that I am going to earn a Masters degree in structural engineering as a result of conversations I have had with Dr. Martin Kane, the Undergraduate Director at UNC Charlotte. Because I have had a desire to become a civil engineer for a long period of time, this will help me stay motivated during my studies and will help me to become a successful engineer in the future. As I have analyzed the Whole Life Concept Model, it has made me become more motivated about my field of study, and also more motivated to make a difference in our country. The Whole Life Concepts Model has made me realize that I am passionate about civil engineering, and that I have chosen the appropriate major for myself. It has also shown me that to make that impact that I desire, I will need to acquire the knowledge and application skills necessary to become a successful civil engineer. Since I plan to become a civil engineer, I have some concerns about the career. As stated previously, I would like the opportunity to work outside occasionally, and I am concerned that some civil engineering careers involve only working in an office setting. I am also concerned that I will have to travel often for my career, which I am not too fond of. I recently talked to a civil engineer, whose job kept them away from their home 300 days of the year. To address these concerns of mine, I plan to interview several civil engineers, and talk to them about their experiences in their career, to get a better idea of the real world of civil engineering. I also would like to participate in two varying internships, to get a first-hand experience of the job. Engineering Coursework In any engineering career, the knowledge of mathematics and science is fundamental to being a successful professional. The academic plan of study for civil engineers includes students taking Calculus I through Calculus III, which encompasses learning integration and derivation necessary to solve most engineering problems. Physics is also a course that is very important for engineers, particularly structural engineers. This is because structural engineers need knowledge to calculate the forces applied to structures, such as vehicles driving across a bridge. Civil engineering students will gain more knowledge of how to calculate these forces by taking physics laboratories, where they can apply the knowledge that they learned in lectures to real world situations. It is very important that engineering students learn how to apply the knowledge of mathematics and science to the real world, since that is how engineers solve problems. By taking all of the required classes in the academic plan of study for civil engineering, I will gain the necessary knowledge to become a successful engineer. Throughout my studies at UNC Charlotte, I will have a few opportunities to take technical electives that I can apply to my specific concentration of structural engineering. Since I would like to design large structures, taking Structural Steel Design I is necessary, since I will be learning the design principles of steel structures. Before I take this class, it will be necessary that I take Structural Analysis and Introduction to Environmental Engineering to gain the appropriate knowledge. Taking Reinforced Concrete Design will also be necessary, since the class covers the mechanics and behavior of the varying types of concrete. Before I take this class, I will need to take Structural Analysis, and Structural Materials I Laboratory, to be allowed to enroll in Reinforced Concrete Design I. By taking Structural Steel Design I and Reinforced Concrete I, this will allow me to take Bridge Design which will teach me the basic construction of bridges. This class will introduce the fundamental knowledge that I need to turn my fascination for bridges into a career. By taking these classes, I will be introduced the basic structural engineering design principles that I will learn more about as I work towards my Masters degree. Creating an Impact on Society During my engineering career, I would like to create a positive impact on the world around me by applying my passion to my field of work. While working as a civil engineer, I would like to help rebuild the poor roads and bridges of our country. The United States infrastructure has slowly been declining because of the governments lack of funds due to the recent recession. I would also like to assist in finding a renewable source of energy that can supply the United States with enough energy so we no longer are dependent on fossil fuels. As fossil fuels are becoming less abundant, it is becoming more evident that we need to find other sources of energy, which a group of engineers can create. During the past five years, I have spent a portion of every summer on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and I have grown to love the area. As more hurricanes hit the east coast, the Outer Banks are continuing to

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deteriorate. If the Outer Banks disappeared, North Carolinas economy would suffer significantly, since a large part of the economy is based on tourism in that area. So, as I become I civil engineer, I would like to find a permanent solution to restoring the Outer Banks. Specifically, this would include finding a way to prevent beach erosion north of Rodanthe, where a new inlet was formed during Hurricane Irene in 2011. Rebuilding the Bonner Bridge, which stretches over the Oregon Inlet, is also needed due to its declining integrity. By finding a civil engineering job, that I am passionate about, I could make a positive impact to the world around us. Contemporary Issues Affecting my Passion In the engineering world, solutions to problems are not easy to find, because there are many factors to take into account in order to find a solution. In the case of the Bonner Bridge replacement on the Outer Banks, there are many environmental issues to take into account. Proposals of the new bridge design include the bridge going through the Pea Island Wildlife Reserve, which many environmentalist are furious about (Bonner Bridge Replacement Project). Civil engineers have to take these environmental issues into account, when designing bridges, roadways, and building, to satisfy all people affected by the project. Throughout recent years, our country has begun to emphasize the need to be green, and this is an issue that civil engineers need to take into account when building and designing infrastructure. A specific area that civil engineers (Horton 2006) need to concentrate on, is designing storm water systems that are e nvironmentally green. This includes designing systems that prevent run-off that leads to erosion, as well as designing systems that capture rainwater for reuse (Harper September 2009). An additional issue that civil engineers need to address is that the United States infrastructure is in poor condition. Once every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers inspects the United States infrastructure and rates it on a scale from A to F, and in the 2013 report, the United States received a D+. Since 1998, the United States infrastructure has been steadily deteriorating, which creates a large amount of work for civil engineers in the future (American Society of Civil Engineers March 2013). Future Job Opportunities to Create an Impact To create a positive impact on society, I first must find a career that I am passionate about. Since I have a fascination with large structures and especially bridges, working for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) as an Assistant District Bridge Engineer to help rebuild the infrastructure of Virginia, would appeal to me greatly. This job is located in Culpeper, VA with a starting salary between $65,946 and $119,455, and requires a degree in either civil or structural engineering. VDOT also stated that they want to hire someone who has the ability to communicate with customers and the public. VDOT also requested that their applicants are certified Virginia Professional Engineers, and are proficient in Microsoft Suites (Virginia Department of Transportation September 18, 2013). Another appealing career for me, is to work for Atkins, an aeronautical engineering firm based out of Seattle, Washington. At Atkins, I could work as a Senior Structural Analysis Engineer as part of a team, dealing with challenging aeronautical projects. The position requests that applicants have a Bachelors degree in Mechanical, Civil, or Aerospace engineering and that applicants have ten years of related experience. The jobs starting salary was unspecified, and Atkins requested that employees have the ability to adapt to different cultures, working conditions, and working environments, as well as the ability to develop strong relationships with colleagues and customers. By working in this field, I could make a positive impact on society, by designing more reliable and safe aircraft for commercial use (Atkins September 20, 2013). I also would enjoy working for American Tower Corporation, as a Structural Engineering Team Leader, to lead teams to design and build wireless communication systems. American Tower Corporation is based out of Cary, NC, and specified that they need an individual with a Masters degree in

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civil/structural engineering with experience with AutoCAD. The company stated that the beginning salary was open, and that having a Professional Engineering License was required (American Tower Corporation August 02, 2013). Working for this company would help me become a successful engineer and make a positive impact on society, since I would be helping to increase communications between humans. Reflection on the Whole Life Concepts Project The Whole Life Concepts Model can be applicable to anyone in any profession, but it is especially important to me at this point in my life. Since I am a college student, this is the time that I am developing the essential knowledge of physics, chemistry, and calculus that I will use every day in my career. This is also the time that my passion is truly revealed, since to become a successful student will require dedication, commitment, and hard work. Without passion or knowledge, it will be impossible to achieve the impact that I would like, and this is the reason that having these two traits is incredibly important. The Whole Life Concepts Model has also shown me that having only passion and knowledge is not enough to make an impact in society. It will also require application skills, such as teamwork, communication, ethics, and leadership, which I will have to improve on throughout my educational career. My experience working with the Whole Life Concepts Model has influenced the way I view my future career as an engineer, as well as the way I view my academic career. It has shown me that I have selected the appropriate engineering discipline that I am passionate about. It has also shown me that I am not passionate about the other disciplines of engineering such as motorsports engineering, since I would like to work on large scale projects, such as designing and building bridges. This assignment has also made me aware that there are many issues in North Carolina that need solutions and require civil engineers. Many of these issues are ones that I am passionate about as well, such as the Bonner Bridge Replacement Project. Completing this project has also helped me decide to pursue two varying internships rather than a co-op. This would allow me to work for two different engineering companies, so I can see what types of engineering companies I would like to work for, and what type of companies I would not enjoy working for. Overall, this assignment has shown me that I have a good start in becoming a successful engineer, but it is going to require many more years of study, hard work, and dedication. After working with the Whole Life Concepts Model, I have become more committed to engineering, since I have realized that my actions can have an impact on improving the world around me. I am more committed to the College of Engineering, since I have learned that this path will help me develop my knowledge and application skills necessary to being an effective engineer. The Whole Life Concepts Model has also shown me that I am passionate about civil engineering, committed to my career, and benefitting the lives of other people. This project has also made my future engineering career come to life, and become a reality. It is no longer just an idea, instead, only a few years of college stand in between myself and my career. As I begin to get closer to the start of my career as a civil engineer, creating a positive impact on society is becoming a more feasible goal. I have always had deep a desire to be successful in aspects on my life, and I want to be successful in my career as well. This passion of mine, will allow me to never give up on a project that I am working on, and it will allow me to work until the project is successful. My dedication to becoming successful will help me achieve my desired impacts such as restoring the Outer Banks, and rebuilding our Counties infrastructure.

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Works Cited American Society of Civil Engineers, "Report Card for Americas Infrastructure." Last modified March 2013. Accessed September 19, 2013. http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/#p/overview/executive-summary American Tower Corporation, "Career Builder." Last modified August 02, 2013. Accessed September 20, 2013. http://www.careerbuilder.com/JobSeeker/Jobs/JobDetails.aspx?APath=2.21.0.0.0&job_did=J3F5HY6Q4X K33NX6QBT&IPath=QHKV0E. Atkins, "Career Builder." Last modified September 20, 2013. Accessed September 20, 2013. http://www.careerbuilder.com/JobSeeker/Jobs/JobDetails.aspx?APath=2.31.0.0.0&job_did=J3G5PF66966 W5LF3M9Z&IPath=ILKV0B. Harper, . CE News, "CE News." Last modified September 2009. Accessed September 19, 2013. http://chesapeakestormwater.net/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/02/CE-News-Article-Harper_GreenBuilding-9-09.pdf. Horton, Benjamin. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier , 2006. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272771406001788 (accessed October 14, 2013). NCDOT, "Bonner Bridge Replacement Project." Accessed September 19, 2013. http://www.ncdot.gov/projects/bonnerbridgereplace/. Virginia Department of Transportation, "Career Builder." Last modified September 18, 2013. Accessed September 20, 2013. http://www.careerbuilder.com/JobSeeker/Jobs/JobDetails.aspx?APath=2.21.0.0.0&job_did=JHL2Q370BC FLMXYLDDR&showNewJDP=yes&IPath=QHKV0C.